Araby by James Joyce

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“Araby” by James Joyce

There seems to be a great deal of controversy surrounding the short story, “Araby” by James Joyce. This isn’t controversy dealing with various political issues or controversy involving issues of free speech or anything related to these things. It is of a more simple matter: whether the young boy in this story is capable of having a deep emotional realization at the conclusion of the story. It is obvious to me via the final sentence, (Araby, 398), that he does not make a startling realization, rather, the narrator, as the boy many years later, looks back on how foolish he was.

During most of the story, the boy comes off as extremely immature. So much so that it would be difficult for such a person to appreciate true love and/or have an emotional breakthrough. The first example of his immaturity that struck me was when he would watch Managan’s sister. He would go so far as to peer between the blind and windowsill to catch a glimpse of his crush. When he caught sight of her, he would bolt outside to follow her. This seems to be very immature activity, which would be fitting for a boy his age. He is self-absorbed (Crane, 398). He doesn’t even seem to know his crushes name. To be in love with someone you hardly know, to me, is very irrational and juvenile.

For one to make even a remotely sound opinion on this subject, one must examine the point of view of the narrator. The story is narrated by a mature man reflection upon his adolescence...

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